Monday, June 25, 2018

Thursday, June 21, 2018

RECOVERY PODCAST: SKIDROW CEO JOE ROBERTS


OTTAWA - This month's Pedersen Recovery Rodcast comes to you from the Nation's Capital.

As I'm learning quickly, Recovery is a small world. Multi-millionaire businessman Joe Roberts is known as the "Skidrow CEO" and his Recovery story is one of legend. The 51-year old was a homeless, drug-addicted teen in Vancouver but after getting sober in his early-20's, he became the President & CEO of a Fortune 500 company in less than a decade.

And then he relapsed. He went from living in a 4,500-sq foot home overlooking downtown Vancouver to living in a van. Joe had to rebuild himself all over again, and he did.

In the spring of 2017, Joe came through Regina as part of his cross-Canada tour raising awareness and funds for youth homelessness. He literally pushed a shopping cart from Newfoundland to Vancouver, symbolic of what he lived out of as a teen.

During that stop in Regina, Joe asked me to join him out on the TransCanada Highway.

So I did. And we connected. The photo above is evidence of that.

So during a work trip to Ottawa this week, I happened to learn that Joe Roberts was speaking at a convention at The Westin Ottawa.

I went and tracked Joe and his wife Maria down at the Shaw Convention Centre during his pre-event soundcheck and we caught up.

And, as luck would have it, the Skidrow CEO sat down to share his inspiring personal story with our podcast.

As always, we are brought to you by Pedersen Recovery Inc. sponsors Fine Foods, Saputo Dairy's Milk2Go Sport Pro and C.J. Evans Home Designs. I encourage you to click on their ads and try them out. I'm so grateful for their sponsorship.

Now, to this month's podcast with Joe Roberts:

ADDICTION EXPLAINED

Addiction, unfortunately, is sweeping the continent and destroying families, careers and lives at a record pace. It's hard to imagine any individual, or family, who isn't affected by Addiction in some form or another.

If you have a loved one, employee or friend who's battling Addiction and their actions baffle you, keep reading.

If you yourself are in the grips of Addiction and want to find a way out, then definitely keep reading.

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation's Carrie Kappel (Associate Director, Health Care Professionals Program) gave an hour-long presentation via webinar on Wednesday entitled Addiction: Part Art, Part Science.

I was invited to participate in the event as a partner of the Betty Ford Center, and the Foundation also regularly sends me their research studies for use in my own presentations (teenage marijuana usage, prevalence of substance abuse among military vets, intervention techniques, etc.).

Ms. Kappel's address was clear, concise, and explained the Disease of Addiction in easy-to-understand terms. As someone who's successfully battled Addiction and is now striving to help others find the road to Recovery, I found the talk very worthwhile.

Here are some key points from the session:

- Addiction is a brain disease.

- Addiction is treatable.

- Up to 70% of Addictions patients at Betty Ford Centers have other Mental Illnesses besides Addiction but those abate over time and the patients learn coping skills in treatment to manage them.

- Addiction is not a moral or ethical problem although the behaviours of the alcoholics/addicts raise questions about morality. "Why are they drinking again?", "Why are they using again?"

- Addiction is not a personality disorder and it is not a choice. The only choice is the initial choice to drink or use. After a period of time, the body begins to drive the choices they make. The brain gets "highjacked" by the body's physical needs.

- Addiction is not the same as casual use. It's a compulsion to use the alcohol even if the brain doesn't want to. We often hear "I don't remember why I made the decision to drink".

- Intoxification is a reward circuitry disease in the central regions of the brain. It causes surges of dopamine. Dopamine is our "feel good" transmitter which drives the bus. All drugs of abuse enhance the release of dopamine.

- People know their actions are wrong but they are driven by their bodies to get the drug or alchohol. That's why they steal, continually drink and drive, or leave their children alone. It is out of their control.

- The decisions made by people with the Disease of Addiction don't make sense to other people. Once they get into treatment, they begin to see their problem from other peoples' perspective and how their disease has affected them.

- In treatment they learn coping skills and tools to continually battle the disease for years to come.

- Benzos intoxification is very similar to alchohol. Benzos are benzodiazepine medications. These drugs are referred to as benzos and are widely prescribed for a variety of medical and mental health concerns. Xanax was the mostly widely prescribed psychiatric medication from 2005 to 2013. Benzos have hypnotic, muscle-relaxant, or anticonvulsant properties. They can provide anxiety relief.

- Opioids are drugs that act on the nervous system to relieve pain. Continued use and abuse can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms. They come in tablets, capsules or liquid.

- Opioids contributed to 40,000 deaths in the USA in 2016. That led to changes in how opioids are prescribed.

- Methodone is a full opioid agonist meaning it binds to the dopamine receptors. It can reduce cravings and improve treatment retention. It can decrease criminal activity because addicts aren't stealing to fund their addiction to opiods. Methodone is taken on a long-term basis.

- Opioid withdrawal can feel terrible to the patient but rarely has serious consequences, and is rarely lethal. It can feel like having the flu times 10, but the withdrawal symptoms aren't permanent.

*Hopefully this blog post helps people understand the Disease of Addiction a little more fully!

RP
Twitter: @pedersenrecover
Instagram: @pedersenrecovery
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pedersenrecovery/

Thursday, June 7, 2018

RECOVERY PODCAST: INTERVENTION TV'S ANDREW GALLOWAY

In the latest Pedersen Recovery Rodcast, we're taking a detour from our usual theme of having sports figures share their Recovery stories.

On this program I'm joined by Mr. Andrew Galloway, a professional Interventionist from the television program Intervention TV Canada which airs on Slice and in the United States on A&E.

Andrew is the former National Director of the Edgewood Health Network, is the co-owner of Hired Sobriety along with Bob Marier, and also works as an Addictions Counselor in Toronto.

Simply put, he's a heavyweight in the Recovery community in Canada.

We met at Intervention Training in New York City in May, put on by Earl Hightower of Hightower Associates. We became fast friends, and Andrew offered to be a guest on our podcast!

On this show Andrew will share his personal Recovery story, and we'll get a behind-the-scenes look at Intervention TV. We'll also explore how Interventions are changing the face of Recovery in North America, and how you can get help for someone struggling with Addictions and Alcoholism.

We'd like to thank Pedersen Recovery Inc. sponsors Milk2Go Sport Pro, Fine Foods and C.J. Evans Home Designs for their continued support of our Recovery efforts!

You can listen to the show here:





Wednesday, May 30, 2018

SHARING MY RECOVERY STORY WITH SHEER RECOVERY'S EDDIE JOHNSON

Former NFL/CFL player Eddie Johnson turned the tables on me, and got me to bare it all in this Recovery interview for Sheer Recovery in San Juan, Capistrano. If you're wanting to hear my story, this is it. RP @pedersenrecover

Monday, May 21, 2018

NHL'ERS REIMER, RESCH SPEAK AT MEMORIAL CUP PRAYER BREAKFAST


Current and former NHL goalies James Reimer and Glenn "Chico" Resch were the featured speakers at Saturday's Prayer Breakfast at Memorial Cup in Regina, put on by Hockey Ministries International.

Also speaking were former NHL'er Laurie Boschman, USA Hockey Olympian Noah Welch, Regina Pats career games played leader Frank Kovacs and Leroy Haugan, father of fallen Humboldt Broncos Head Coach & GM Darcy Haugan.

Before a packed house at Hillsdale Baptist Church in South Regina, the event spanned two hours and included hockey personalities from a variety of leagues including the Regina Pat Canadians, SJHL and WHL Chaplains and WHL head office personnel.

Reimer - a product of Morweena, MB - has played 301 NHL games for Toronto, San Jose and Florida and spent his WHL career with the Red Deer Rebels. He was interviewed on stage by the legendary Chico Resch, who spent seven seasons in the NHL with Colorado, NY Islanders, New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers.

Reimer was asked what message of Faith he had to offer those in attendance. The 30-year old said to "count their blessings" and take time to recognize and appreciate God's miracles around you, even something as simple as a beautiful sunset or a gorgeous day.

Resch - who was raised in Regina and attended Scott Collegiate - told his personal story of sobriety and Faith, which dates back to 1980. He told the crowd that "God gave us freewill. He will not inject himself into your life. You need to seek Him out."

The room fell silent when Leroy Haugan addressed the crowd, and spoke of the unspeakable April 6/2018 bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos which took the life of his son Darcy.

"I was recently golfing with my 12-year old grandson, Darcy's boy," the eldest Haugan said. "And he said 'Papa, I'm not going to give up on Jesus because of this.'"

It was a very powerful moment.

Frank Kovacs said a closing prayer to send the 200-or-so patrons into their May long weekend.

Hockey Ministries International stages events like this at hockey events around the continent, such as the Memorial Cup. Their spokesmen include NHL'ers Shane Doan, Eric Staahl, Jarome Iginla and David Booth.

Hillsdale Baptist Pastor Bill Danyluk - a former Chaplain for the Regina Pats for many years - pulled me aside after the event and said, "I'm glad you finally found my House."

I laughed and said, "At least I finally did! Some people never do."

Saturday was a great event and I was very glad to be there.

RP
FB: Pedersen Recovery Inc.
IG: @pedersenrecovery
Twitter: @pedersenrecover

Thursday, May 10, 2018

THE NEXT STEP IN MY RECOVERY

Another milestone in my sobriety.

On the weekend of May 5/2018 I found myself in a conference room in Times Square in New York, NY receiving training from renowned Interventionist Earl Hightower of Hightower Associates. He's a pioneer in the industry, having done roughly 2,000 interventions over the past 35 years.

How did I end up there? Well, fairly early on in my journey of sobriety (Sober Date 01-27-2015) some of the titans of the Recovery industry put their arm around me and said "Come with us". I'm so grateful they did. They've opened up so many doors that I didn't even know existed. One of those doors was Intervention training and the notion was, "You're going to need this training so you might as well get it from the best. His name is Earl Hightower."

What did I learn? Well, I didn't spend thousands of dollars and travel thousands of miles just to divulge all the information here for free. Suffice it to say it was 3 days of pretty intense training with a lot of time spent on ethics. I took many things away from the weekend but one stands out above the rest and that is Earl standing in the middle of the room with his index finger pointed. "Don't lie, and don't bluff," he warned.

Earl and me
A warm wave came over me at that moment because I'm not comfortable doing either of those things, yet they're a hallmark of the world I currently live in.

It's also why I turned down a recent offer to get into politics. I was told that as a politician you need to "be able to look in someone's face and lie". No thanks. That notion makes me want to puke.

In fact one lady at the training told me, "You're at home now". The room was filled with all walks of Recovery life including addictions counselors, psychotherapists, treatment center residential managers, intake specialists, sober coaches and sober companions and even the owner/producer of Intervention TV, Andrew Galloway. (That show, by the way, gets 2.1-million viewers a week on A&E. He bought me a steak supper).

I was anxious going in because I didn't know if I'd fit in but I quickly felt like a kid going to summer camp. I couldn't wait to see everybody each morning and didn't want to leave at the end of the day.

So, I'm a trained Interventionist but who knows when I'll do my first one. I have a little experience in the area since I was the target of an Intervention on January 28/2015 so I know the drill. Who knew that painful experience would pay such dividends just a few years later?

Less than 24 hours after returning home from New York, I was getting messages from treatment centers and sober living houses wondering when they'll start getting referrals. The first step is touring their facilities and meeting face-to-face, which I'm already doing.

I thought I lived in a fast-paced environment of Sports & Entertainment but that looks like it's in slow motion compared to the Addiction world, which is currently in a crisis. When someone needs help, they need it NOW! And we move at the speed of light.

The whole idea is getting people help, and saving lives.

These people don't care that I'm the broadcaster for a CFL team and only have a few years sobriety. "That's good enough! We need your help. We're in a crisis that's growing!"

That's a rush.

This experience will be part of my keynote address at the fundraising gala for the Oak Tree Place community centre in Moose Jaw, SK on Saturday night. I'll be sharing my Recovery story for those in attendance and raising funds for Oak Tree, which will be a safe place in Moose Jaw for those battling Addiction.

Honestly I'd prefer to just move on from that dreadful period of my life just over three years ago when doctors told me I'd be dead in less than a year if I didn't stop drinking immediately. But now people want to know how I've been able to do it, and I'm more than happy to share if it helps someone.

For tickets please email Jody Oakes at jody.oakes@sasktel.net.

Thanks to gala sponsors Sask Power, Hill St. Beverage Co., Fraser Strategy, Outlaw Communications, Clark's Supply & Service, Fine Foods and EMJ Marketing. Thanks also to CKRM Radio, CTV and Global TV for their promotion of the event.

One Day At A Time,
RP
TW: @pedersenrecover
IG: @pedersenrecovery

REGINA LEADER-POST: MAKING A COMEBACK

Thanks to the Leader Post's Mark Melnychuk for doing this video documentary on my Recovery Story!: http://leaderpost.com/news/local...